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You'll be riding an all-electric Maid of the Mist vessel soon

Posted at 12:26 PM, May 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-03 17:41:08-04

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — You'll be riding an all-electric Maid of the Mist vessel sometime in the fall.

The vessels will be the first all-electric zero emission vessels in North America.

“The Maid of the Mist has offered tours of the world-famous Niagara Falls waterfalls and of the Niagara River Gorge for more than a century, and are a signature tourism attraction of Western New York,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “The new zero-emission boats will continue that proud tradition while continuing our efforts to make New York State a premier environmentally friendly tourism destination.”

Maid of the Mist has been navigating the waters of the lower Niagara River since 1846.

All the energy coming over the falls will actually go back into the Made of the Mist. Each boat will have a battery that will only take seven minutes to recharge to 80% between voyages. While people are unloading and reloading the boat, the battery will be re-charged by hydroelectricity.

"We are enabling people to enjoy the falls without having a negative impact on them for the future generations is really a great thing," Edward Schwarz, Vice President of Sales for ABB, the company providing the electric battery system for the boats.

The boats were designed by Propulsion Data Systems. The modules are currently being constructed in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The modules will be transported to Niagara Falls sometime in mid-May.

Parts for the vessels are planned to land in Niagara Falls in the next month. The boats will have to be assembled and then pass tests. The vessels are expected to launch in September.